Time for Harry Potter to break out the face masks, because Universal Studios in California is reopening.
After closing its doors over a year ago, Universal Studios Hollywood has officially set April 16 as its reopening date. The park. however, will still be operating with restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Upon reopening, Universal Studios confirmed a stringent set of new health and safety procedures in the wake of the pandemic. These include controlling the park’s capacity in order to maintain social distancing and enforcing face masks for guests and workers, as detailed in a press release.
Also, the park will initially be open to California residents only. Some rides and attractions will not be reopening until a later date, as well.
“We are incredibly thrilled to finally be able to open Universal Studios Hollywood, return team members to work and welcome guests back to enjoy our amazing rides,” said Karen Irwin, president and COO of Universal Studios Hollywood. “It has been a very challenging year and we are overjoyed to have arrived at this moment.”
Guests who visit on April 16 may also notice two new additions to Universal Studios: an attraction based on the film series “The Secret Life of Pets,” and a brand-new dinosaur at “Jurassic World – The Ride,” based on the film’s Indominus Rex.
California’s other major theme park, Disneyland, had previously announced a reopning date of April 30. Amid the pandemic, however, the park will limit guest attendance to 15% capacity, at least upon its initial reopening. Visitors will also be required to make reservations for a specific dates ahead of time.
California first announced reopening guidelines for theme parks in early March, stipulating that operations would be able to commence as of April 1, provided the surrounding county falls within an acceptable tier for decreased case numbers, and that specific risk-mitigating criteria were met. According to the state’s guidelines, theme parks that are located in counties that are in the red tier (the second-highest tier on the state’s coronavirus threat blueprint) can reopen with 15% capacity. If the county moves to the orange tier, the capacity bumps to 25%, and increases to 35% at the yellow tier (the lowest level on the state’s threat blueprint).
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